Lightyear Capital makes majority investment in Wren Sterling

Wren Sterling has announced that it has secured a majority investment from investment funds affiliated with Lightyear Capital LLC (Lightyear) to complete a management buyout from Palatine Private Equity and shareholders, subject to FCA approval.

Lightyear, based in New York, is a financial services private equity firm with a focus on asset and wealth management.

The deal will see all of Wren Sterling’s management team and staff remain in place. Alongside this, there is a remit to continue to grow the business through organic growth and targeted acquisition, with the support of Lightyear.

Wren Sterling formed following a management buyout of Towergate Financial led by Ian Darby in March 2015. The intervening six years has seen Wren Sterling double its assets to £4.6bn under management and substantially increase its profitability.

Ian Darby, Wren Sterling’s Executive Chairman said:

“We have secured a fantastic deal for Wren Sterling’s clients, shareholders and staff. It will therefore provide a return for our investors, enable us to grow and continue to invest in our client service.

“Lightyear will bring years of expertise in growing financial advice businesses, plus the capital we require to help us grow Wren Sterling, so they’re an ideal partner for us.

“Palatine has been a hugely supportive owner over the last six years. Through the management team’s hard work and Palatine’s guidance, we’ve created a dynamic business.

“Wren Sterling’s management team led by Ian Halley, advisers and staff deserve huge credit for their commitment and professionalism. So, I’m looking forward to the next stage of our growth.”

Mark F. Vassallo, Managing Partner of Lightyear, commented:

“We are excited to partner with Ian Darby and the talented management team at Wren Sterling. So we aim to support their continued success through organic growth and future acquisition opportunities.

“Lightyear’s investment in Wren Sterling will build on our successful track record in wealth management. Additionally, it reflects our longstanding thematic focus on the growth of independent financial advice.”

If you are looking to sell your business, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what a suitable buyer looks like for you. Book a free market consultation with Gunner & Co here.